What Candy Can People With Diabetes Eat and How Much Is Safe?
Think candy is off-limits simply because you have diabetes? Not a chance! “I encourage people with diabetes to remember that a diabetes diet is really just a healthier diet,” says Rainie Carter, RD, CDE, who is in private practice in Birmingham, Alabama. She suggests thinking of candy as a dessert, versus a snack. “Changing that mentality allows people to think about eating candy in smaller portions. We are typically fuller from the meal and therefore eat less candy or sweets than we would have before.”
And you don’t necessarily need to reach for a sugar-free version, which can contain tummy-upsetting sugar alcohols. “Our bodies need carbohydrates throughout the day — and candy can be a delicious, festive, enjoyable source of it on occasion,” says Meg Salvia, RDN, CDE, the owner of Meg Salvia Nutrition in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Just eat the candy in moderation: The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugars, the type of sugar present in candy bars, to less than 10 percent of daily calories. So if you’re having 2,000 calories a day, that would be no more than 200 calories from added sugar (about two fun-size packs of peanut M&M’s). And people with diabetes have other considerations, too — more on those next.
Next time you come across fun-size candy — whether it’s because you bought it yourself, you’re digging through your child’s trick-or-treat bag, you’re hosting a birthday party with a piñata, or you’re rummaging through the office candy bowl — here’s what you need to know about making the best can Continue reading